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Understanding evolution is critical to learning biology, but few college instructors take advantage of the body of peer-reviewed literature that can inform evolution teaching and assessment. Here we summarize the peer-reviewed papers on tools to assess student learning of evolutionary concepts. These published concept inventories provide a resource for instructors to design courses, gauge student preparation, identify key misconceptions in their student population, and measure the impact of a lesson, course, or broader curriculum on student learning. Because these inventories vary in their format, target audience, and degree of validation, we outline and explain these features. In addition to summarizing the published concept inventories on topics within evolution, we lay out a flexible framework to help instructors decide when and how to use them.


This article was originally published in Evolution: Education and Outreach, volume 12, issue 2, in 2019. DOI: 10.1186/s12052-018-0092-8


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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